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Drive to remove squatters

The local administration and police have decided to crack the whip on errant shopkeepers and vendors encroaching on the busy Dhanbad-Sindri Main Road in Jharia town.

The office of Jharia circle officer has already directed over 500 shopkeepers and vendors to free a 500-metre stretch of the main road by the end of this month or face the music.

The administration has also sought help from the Jharia Chamber of Commerce and the councillor of ward No. 37, Anup Sao, to convince traders to free the road.

Speaking to The Telegraph, circle officer Sagari Baral said the administration had already started making public announcement through loudspeakers, instructing shopkeepers and vendors to free the encroached road by the end of August.

“Once the deadline ends, we will carry out a survey and initiate tough action against encroachers,” he said.

According to local residents, traffic jam on the stretch between Laskhminia More and Jharia bus stand has been a perennial problem. Encroachments near Laskhminia More, Raja Talab, Sabzi Mandi, Bata More, Jharia Main Road and Jharia bus stand have turned the road almost nonnegotiable during rush hours.

The worst affected is the 100m section passing through Sabzi Mandi where more than 400 vegetable and fruit vendors put up their stalls on both sides of the main road. Dumping of vegetable and fruit wastes further shrinks the road.

Expressing disgust over the situation, S.K. Modak a resident of Poddar locality, said, “There is no space for vehicular movement. Parking cars and even two-wheelers is a big problem at Sabzi Mandi.”

Another bottleneck is Bata More, where over 50 shopkeepers and vendors have almost eaten up the road.

This apart, a large number of makeshift eateries have blocked the main road near Desbandhu Cinema Hall and Jharia bus stand.

However, the Jharia circle officer said the situation would improve soon. “We are getting positive response. The shopkeepers have started moving away from the road. From now on, we will monitor the situation on a regular basis to prevent shopkeepers from occupying the road again,” he added.